After spending the last couple of hours trying to work out if I can include the new party function from SoZ to allow players to make a party prior playing my latest module, I have had to come to the conclusion that it is not going to be possible. :( UPDATE: See post dated 18/12/08.
It is easy enough to add the function and allow the player to create a party, but many of my scripts that then work with the "party" (which includes companions as the player finds them) do not work with the Althéa PC Menu, which is a critical part of my module and the way it plays. Part of the problem is any additional PCs created are difficult to work with as objects. In particular, if it is not the "main PC" (first created) that I wish to work with, I have used the Tag of the companion in many of the scripts to ascertain which character is being played. Unfortunately, I cannot alter the Tag to what I need for the additional PCs and so many aspects of my module fail because of this.
I had wondered if I can "copy" the additional PCs, retag them and use the copies in the form of "companion" style access rather than PCs, but I don't think this will work. (I don't think I can copy a player's creature objects.) I will look at this angle a little longer, but I have my doubts. UPDATE: I am able to copy the PC and give it a new Tag. I now think I need to work with the SetCreatureScriptsToSet function, as the PCs need to use companion scripts. I will look at this angle for a while longer and give an update if I solve my issues.
On a positive note, I believe I will still be able to use the new party conversation system alongside my own.
In other news, I am now at peace with myself regarding a "logical flow" issue for a side-quest I had in mind and so I hope to go ahead writing this soon. The story hook did not feel right to me at first and so I could not get started until I had it all working properly in my mind.
I have also done some more work to the Real Life System, which now checks if an NPC sees a PC trying to work with a chest that does not belong to them. A PC will not be able to work with any chest while an NPC can see them and they have not had permission to do so. Of course, the same system allows the PCs to "do away" with nearby NPCs if they are that way inclined, but there will be consequences to this kind of action in the form of other NPCs coming to the defence of the first if they do. On the back of this, attempting to pick locks on chests that do not belong to the PC will also now affect alignment for the whole party involved. So, a paladin will not be happy with an out of control thief in the same party.